Creating Custom Lines Tutorial

Creating and editing custom lines is a boring and tedious undertaking until you get what you want.  My first endeavor was the Round-End line for making popsickle-stick shaped lines.  Just had to have it and so I fount it until I got it.  Recently I decided I wanted a line that tapered to a point on the ends but had forgotten most everything I' had learned through my first effort except for where I did it.  So, this tutorial is as much for me as for you, next time - I'll just use it to jog my memory!

Step 1 - Open a New Image
You will want plenty of room to work and for comparison sake, so make a new image 800Wx600H with a transparent background (or open the two layer test grid that I'm supplying in step 6).
          select your drawing tool   then open the Tool Options window.  If you don't know where it is, hit the 'O' on your keyboard to toggle the window. 

Step 2 - Prepare for creating a new line
You see that I have the funny line selected that I just created, so I click on the arrow at the right of the line to find the default solid and click on it.

Next, I will set the Width to 17 which is a good testing height and make sure you have Type = Single Line.  Yes;  the line width is the height of the line.  How much more confusing can it get?!  Lots!  BUT - if I can do it, anyone can do it!  My first time, I screwed up a couple regular lines learning, so I hope to save you that horror story by writing this tute for you.

Next we click the 'Custom' button to get this screen.

Next, to make sure we don't overwrite the default line, click on the 'Save as New' button and give your line a name as in the image below.  When you click the 'OK' button, the entire Tool Options box will close.  Name it tutorial for this one!

Your new line is saved in the PSP/StyledLines folder.

Set a flood fill to a color that is easily seen, preferably a dark color.  Open the Tool Options box again and when you click on the lines style arrow, you will see that your new custom line is selected, click on it again to close the box.  you now know that this is the line you are editing.  Uncheck the 'Create as vector'.


Step 3 - Confirmation
Confirm the settings are as below, then click on the 'Custom' button.


Step 4 - Choose End caps
You will now click on the drop down arrow for the first end cap and I have selected the tulip since I haven't used it before.  Next click on the down arrow for the Last cap and select the tulip for it.


Step 5 - Setting the sizes of the end caps
I clicked on the size for the First end cap;  with default set to 1.00, I gradually increased the the Height control until I arrived at a size where the base of the end cap looked to be even with the top and bottom of the line which was 1.75 in this case.  After you achieve the height you want, you wan set the size for the Last end cap to the same number.

Next set the Width for one of the end caps, once you like the appearance, you can match the width of the other end cap.  Now don't pretend you don't see the Different segment caps section or the style section!  LOL  I'll tell you now we aren't going to use these in this tutorial.  (The 'Style section is for creating broken line styles like dashes;  the Different segment caps, (I think) is for positioning different end caps between broken lines - I haven't thoroughly investigated that part yet!  Played just enough to find it's really aggravating!  LOL)
I worked my way up to 1.75 on the width,

 then discovered the height I'd selected just wasn't working for me, so played around until I settled on 1.85 for the height

Next you click the 'Save' button to test the line.   You MUST 'Save' EVERY TIME you adjust the settings before testing!!!

Step 6 - testing line widths
For all appearances, I am happy with my new line style, but the proof is in the pudding, so I will use the line at several line heights and each type of line to check it.  Right now I'm only interested it the general shape of the line and what happens when I use it in different styles.  I am supplying my zipped testing grid so you don't have to do all the line switching but if you prefer to do your own, the instructions follow).
*Note:  Always start the line on 200 and end the line at 500 on the horizontal coordinance.  Keep straight lines straight for straight line type.
First I create my test grid by switching the line back to default solid line, set it to line width of 1, set fill color to black, draw a vertical line starting at horizontal 200 mark and drawing down most of the length of the page;  then I make another vertical line on the horizontal 500 mark matching the length of the first line.  Add a new layer and switch back to the line I am editing and the color for the test lines that will stand out against the black grid.

Next is to set the width of the line at different line widths and eyeball the end caps for each height to make sure they look right regardless of the line width used.  I tested at line heights of 1, 7, 11, 23, 35, 50.  I managed to do them all on the grid but generally I only do one and undo when I see it's okay and then do the next size - it's less confusing that way.  (When I got to the line height of 50, I noticed a little notch over the area of the black line, so I adjusted my end cap heights to 1.88.)

Now I will delete everything on that layer and do one last check of the straight line at a line width of 100.
At 100, I found notches out again, so I made the white layer of the grid visible to show it to you.  (I hate compression!!!!!)

Now I will adjust my end cap height to 190 and see if this cures the problem.  Nope!  Had to work my way up to 195 and save before I was happy!


Step 7 - testing line types
I tested at line width of 13; first the straight line, second the bezier curve, third the freehand and fourth, the point to point.
Don't know what I'd ever use it for but that's it.  Make sure the 'Close path' is unchecked when you test these or you will get some surprises in the outcome!

    for bezier curve, you have to set the line path by clicking above or below the line you drew for the left and then the right end - click somewhere in the vicinity of the x's, left and then right.

    for the freehand, you just drag a wavy line across.

    for the point to point type, you make several zigzagging clicks across, ending on the 500 mark, then right click and click on 'Quit node editing'.


Step 8 - saving to better name
Go back into the custom line window and click on the 'Save as new' button, then type in a name you will remember.

I named mine 'csgTulipEnd'.

Now you can either delete the tutorial file from file manager or leave it to edit and make more lines.

Tutorial by CSGreen

Close Window when Finished.

Zipped tutorial in PDF format . . . 1,063KB

* I do not generally compress my graphics but for the sake of loading time - the tutorial graphics are compressed!